What Does a Dissertation Hypothesis Mean?

By: Tasha Kolesnikova

15 min



What Does a Dissertation Hypothesis Mean?

The hypothesis in a dissertation is part of the introduction to student work. It is located after the goal with objectives and before research methods. Despite its modest volume, this element's development is significant, since it is the mainstay of the entire study, its driving force. The thesis is created to confirm or refute the formulated hypothesis in the process of research.

Scientists argue that a hypothesis is like a predicted result, an assumption, the reliability of which is verified empirically in the course of work. For the sake of confirming or refuting it, you choose bibliographic sources, perform theoretical and practical research, and formalize your paper. At the end of the project, you assess whether the guess put forward corresponds to the truth. If so, then it will become the theory that you have proven with your work. If not, it is rejected because refutation is also a valuable conclusion.

Dissertation Hypothesis - What is It?

You cannot solve a problem without outlining ways to resolve it. We can find ways to solve a problem only if we admit the fact of possibility or impossibility. That is, to fix the problem, it is necessary to assume or allow something. This will be your hypothesis, which you need to prove or disprove.

First, let's try to figure out what a dissertation hypothesis is, what hypotheses are, and what characteristics they should have. An assumption can simultaneously be a scientifically grounded assumption, a set of influences, and a system of measures to implement the research objectives. Techniques for constructing hypotheses differ in form, level, character, mechanism of formation, logical structure, and functional purpose.Table with the main types of dissertation hypotheses techniques

What Are Variables In Hypothesis For?

A variable is an empirical quality, a sign of a phenomenon that can take on more than one value. Variables can be both qualitative and quantitative. Using variables, you can confirm or disprove a hypothesis. Depending on the goals set, the variables are divided into dependent, independent, and interfering.

Independent ones are variables that characterize influencing conditions, factors, circumstances. The dependent variable is the changeable quality of the study object, which is considered a consequence of the independent variable's action. The assumption determines the relationship of dependence and independence of variables.

Whether a variable is dependent or independent is determined by the hypothesis's relationship, which contains the variable. The same variable may be dependent on one study and independent in another. For example, a researcher, observing the lobbying struggle of interest groups, could conclude that the more organized groups with specific interests in the state, the higher the government spending on social security programs. In this case, the number of groups is the independent variable, and the level of expenditure is the dependent variable.

What Is The Significance Of a Hypothesis In a Dissertation?

The hypothesis sets the direction for all research and determines the scientific significance of all work. It is written in the introduction. The assumption takes no more than one paragraph. In writing a dissertation, the author selects the necessary material, conducts particular research, gives a specific structure to work, and decides how to write a conclusion, based on the assumption.

The student's facts in the main part of the document act as evidence for the hypothesis of theoretical work. If we are talking about practical work, then points are played by the documented results of experiments and experiments, certain calculations, and research.

To understand if your hypothesis is correct, check it for the following attributes:

  • there are no controversial concepts in the formulation that in themselves can become the topic of some other research;
  • the ability to test statements using empirical or theoretical methods;
  • relevance and connection with the stated problem;
  • cognitive value and effectiveness;
  • practical benefits for the follow-up research program.

If all this is characteristic of your assumption, then it is well written. But the main thing that should be different is the ability to test it with the thesis. Just determine whether you need to prove your statement. If yes, then the proposal was successful.

The Special Importance Of Writing a Hypothesis

One might say a hypothesis is the same research tool as a microscope, oscilloscope, or centrifuge. But each device has its specificity and, accordingly, its area of application, its range of tasks.

The microscope is designed to study tiny objects; the oscilloscope is for studying fast processes; the centrifuge is for looking for substances that differ in density. Hypotheses have a different purpose. They make it possible to move from a head-on study of an intractable problem to the course of the consequences of an assumption, which, as a rule, refer to other, often more studied, branches of science. In other words, the hypotheses put forward in solving difficult problems are designed to transfer research from an area that is somehow inconvenient to study to another, more convenient area.

There Are Three Types Of Hypothesis

A specific form of scientific foresight is a hypothesis. After defining the object and subject, goals, and objectives of the research, in the development of experimental work and its comprehension, one continually returns to the assumption as the research work's reference point.

At the same time, this is the assumption of the relationship in which the studied phenomenon is with others, its internal structure, essence, driving forces, etc. The advancement of a hypothesis is a way to discover connections between phenomena. An assumption as a means of transition from old knowledge to new inevitably comes into conflict with existing ideas. In the form of a assumption, there is a real movement of knowledge towards new, more profound, generalizations towards disclosing the laws of regularities, principles, etc. Therefore, you need to investigate three types of hypotheses:

  • The null hypothesis;
  • The nondirectional hypothesis;
  • The directional hypothesis.

The Null Hypothesis

The word "zero" comes from the Latin word nullus, which means "nothing." Perhaps this definition is useful for a complete understanding of an often uncertain term. Your null hypothesis is that nothing will change or improve between the two sets of data during testing. This is not what you want to prove, but instead what you want to refute.

Let's go straight to an example to understand how the null hypothesis is formed. For example, when a scientist wants to find a link between smoking and lung cancer, it is not enough to find one smoker with lung cancer. A significant amount of data must be collected and analyzed before this scientist can argue a relationship between smoking and lung cancer. In this kind of research, the null hypothesis plays a key role.

The null hypothesis is essentially the assumption that the outcome the ultimate goal of any research does not exist. As far as your search for a relationship between smoking and lung cancer goes, the null hypothesis will say no such relationship exists. The question is, at what point will the data collected be sufficient to override this claim.

If we talk about smoking and lung cancer, then the null hypothesis rules out long ago: no self-respecting scientist will resort to it now. But there was a time when there was not enough data to rule it out, and the researchers could not prove that the incidence of lung cancer among smokers and nonsmokers was not just a matter of chance. Only having a large amount of data and reducing the possibility of a random result to a minimum can the null hypothesis be ruled out.

The Nondirectional Hypothesis

Along with the null hypothesis, the researcher usually formulates the so-called alternative assumption I - the statement that he will consider accurate if he rejects R0. When considering some hypotheses, I's formulation is obvious, and it is not worth talking about an alternative assumption. For example, this applies to the assumption of the absence of a connection, which scientists tested using the x2 criterion. It is opposed by the only possible alternative hypothesis, which states a connection between the variables. This alternative hypothesis is called the nondirectional assumption.

And so you should know that nondirectional hypothesis means that we prove that phenomena, situations, laws are authentically different, but we do not prove by what exactly. However, the nondirectional hypothesis states that there is a relationship or difference between variables. Hypotheses formulate if it is necessary to establish only differences in the form or values of the features' distribution.

The Directional Hypothesis

Directional hypotheses are put forward if the value of an indicator in one population is higher than in another; if, under the influence of some actions, more pronounced changes occur in one set than in another.

The directional hypothesis formulates when the researcher assumes the presence or absence of differences in a specific direction: the experimental group exceeds or does not exceed the control one by some indicator. The directional hypothesis records only the presence-absence of differences, without indicating their direction: the experimental group differs from the control group or does not differ.

Hypothesis Development Process

As a stage in the research process, the development of an assumption often uses, which can be an effective means of finding ways to solve a problem and understanding it. A hypothesis is a process of developing thought. Of course, it is impossible to give a general model for constructing an assumption for all life cases. This is because the conditions for creating an assumption depend on the originality of practical activity and the problem's specifics under consideration. Nevertheless, it is possible to determine the general boundaries of the stages that the thought process goes through in an assumption.

The main stages of hypothesis development are:

  • Ask a question;
  • Do some preliminary research;
  • Formulate your hypothesis;
  • Refine your hypothesis;
  • Phrase your hypothesis in three ways;
  • Write a null hypothesis.

Let's consider the content and features of each stage in more detail.

Ask a Question To Dissertation

To put forward a hypothesis dissertation, it is necessary to ask questions about the observed phenomenon, which would justify a particular assumption and explain the unknown. Therefore, the construction of an assumption is associated with posing questions related to the phenomenon that we are explaining and do not coincide with the existing explanation.

Based on the questions posed, an assumption is made about what the investigated phenomenon is, that is, an assumption formulates in the narrow sense of the word. The premise is made as a result of the logical processing of the collected questions. On their basis, an assumption is put forward. It is the questions that make up the main content of the hypothesis dissertation.

The questions contain the knowledge that comes as a result of the generalization of facts. They are the core of the assumption around which all cognitive and practical activity goes. The question in the hypothesis is, on the one hand, what you have to explain in the end, what you come to as a result of observation and generalization of facts. On the other hand, it is the starting point for further studying the phenomenon, indicating the path of cognition, determining how all research should go.

Explore Sources of Information

To understand what dissertation hypothesis to put forward in the text, it is necessary to carry out a little research on the sources of information. You need to study the bibliographic record - this is where you can get important information about the usefulness of a printed or electronic source of information. Bibliographic records are published in catalogs or library indexes. A form will include a written description of a book, journal article, essay, or any other published material, and will typically contain three main components: author, title, and publication information. Use this checklist as a guide when evaluating the source of information.

If one or two of the main components are missing, this does not necessarily deprive the source of its status as credible but should induce the researcher to treat it with increased caution. What can be solved by reviewing literature and information sources:

  • Finalize your research questions;
  • Understand why the research problem is essential;
  • Find out what others have already done on this topic.

Create Your Hypothesis

Based on the studied sources of information, you can create your hypothesis, which anyone has not yet discussed. When constructing, you must adhere to the following hypothesis dissertation structure:

  • the hypothesis must be formulated clearly and accurately; otherwise, it can lead to confusion in the proof, since until the concepts that make up the content of the assumption are clarified, it is meaningless to even begin with confirmation;
  • the hypothesis must remain unchanged throughout the entire proof or refutation, otherwise in the process of confirming the assumption, the so-called substitution of the thesis will occur;
  • the hypothesis must be based on facts or judgments; otherwise, if at least one of the grounds is false, then its combination with other grounds will give an incorrect, complex judgment, from which both true and wrong conclusions can follow;
  • the grounds (arguments) must be facts or judgments, the truth of which is established regardless of the conclusion; otherwise, a vicious circle will arise in the proof.

Check If You Created The Hypothesis Correctly

Hypothesis testing is usually done through practice. The practice's needs generate an assumption, and basically, decide whether an assumption is true or false. When testing a hypothesis, logical means also use. Testing an assumption and transforming it into reliable knowledge is a complex and lengthy process. Therefore, it cannot reduce to any one logical action. When testing an assumption, various forms and methods of confirming or refuting it are used.

For example, direct confirmation (refutation) of the assumption. The essence of this method lies in the fact that the alleged individual facts or phenomena in the course of subsequent cognition are confirmed (or not confirmed) by the practice of observing legal phenomena.

Logical confirmation (refutation) proceeds indirectly since phenomena that have taken place in the past or exist at present but are inaccessible to direct sensory perception cognize.

Use Three Ways To Formulate Your Hypothesis

To make it easier to view the hypothesis, you can use the phrase - "if ... then." You will see two variables in the sentence - independent, which is in the first part, or dependent, in the second part of the sentence. For instance:

  • If a student spends more time studying and attending lectures, then his scores will become much higher.

Also, in academic hypotheses, you can use the technique of an unexpected effect. In the study, you immediately indicate the relationship between the variables, thus not allowing the dragons to doubt your assumption. For instance:

  • Because the student will devote a lot of time attending lectures, he will manage to solve tasks better and get high scores.

If you use two methods, then using a hypothesis, you can indicate in the document what difference you saw. For instance:

  • Statistics show that students who do not miss lectures receive higher scores than those who can attend only a few lectures.

Create a Null Hypothesis

To complete the hypothesis writing process, you must create a null hypothesis. This statement glast that there is no relationship between the measured phenomenon and the independent variable. You don't have to make sure that the null hypothesis is correct and do your research. Quite the opposite, you need to prove that there is a relationship between the variables, and your assumption is true.

One way for the student to prove this is not the case, and that is to reject the null hypothesis. If you abandon the assumption, it does not mean that the research was bad or did not give positive results. On the contrary, departing from one idea, you will have new thoughts on making further research even more interesting. For you to distinguish new hypotheses from the null hypothesis, you need to designate it as H0.

The null hypothesis is needed by the student to be sure that the results obtained are true, its confidence level should range from 95 to 99 percent. We leave exactly one percent in case someone nevertheless proves that your assumption is not correct. For example, another student will see mistakes and recheck them, come to a completely different result, then your work on this factor will be wrong. This is one of the reasons why it is essential to repeat experiments.

Where To Get Sources To Form a Hypothesis

If you are just getting acquainted with this type of work, we want to provide several ways to find a hypothesis. One of the primary sources is dissertation examples of other students. You have the opportunity to come across the assumption that you need, but you did not know how to formulate it. Based on the information received, create a similar one, but do not entirely copy.

If you haven't found a suitable option, then personal experience comes in handy here. For example, you volunteered for a rally about drug abuse and teen crime because of them. You've probably heard a lot of slogans, and maybe there was one that caught your attention. Feel free to use it. Dig into your memory and remember the moments; perhaps you observed similar situations, this will also come in for inspiration.

And the most proven way to find an assumption is to contact StudyBay professionals. Because dissertation writing takes place online, you do not need to spend money on travel; you need to leave a request for feedback, and the manager will call you back or write to you. Professional authors have many reviews, which confirms their reliability. They will explore many resources and help you create the best hypothesis that will surprise all readers.

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I studied sociology and marketing at Europa-Universität Viadrina (Germany) and Universidade da Beira Interior (Portugal). When I was a sophomore, back in 2018, I decided to put what I've learned into practice, so I got my first job in digital marketing. I currently work in the content marketing department at Studybay, building strong, effective, and respectful communication between the platform and our clients.

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